…meant wearing a bathing suit and smelling like sunscreen 16 hours a day.
…meant doing without air conditioning, carpet, dryers and water drinkable from the tap.
…meant sleeping on the porch which fit three beds, one a wooden army cot from WWII.
…meant evacuating the porch and finding somewhere else to sleep if it stormed during the night.
…meant wearing shoes once a week to go to church.
…meant sweeping up a pound of sand every day from the front screened porch.
…meant knowing if you touched the wrong spot on the stove you’d be shocked.
…meant story-telling on the front porch after dark.
…meant turning the light on by pulling a string hanging from the ceiling.
…meant plays put on by the cousins for the adults.
…meant living not by the clock, but by the sun and tides.
…meant pancake eating contests in the morning (the most I ever ate was 15).
…meant going crabbing in the mornings using an old string with one end wound around a stick, some loose bolts and nails for weight and perhaps a chicken neck for bait.
…meant hearing the waves and the wind in the palm trees every moment of the day and night.
…meant everyone taking a nap in the afternoon, no matter the age.
…meant a large refrigerator on the back porch from well before you were born that worked beautifully and was the holding place for watermelon and beer.
…meant not worrying about what your hair looked like.
…meant building a hut out of bamboo and palm fronds.
…meant learning how to play gin rummy, slapjack and war.
…meant iron beds, ladder-back chairs, a wood burning stove original to the house (full of tools), a porch swing, a dining table so big that it was built in place.
…meant every “window” sill lined with rows of shells, some collected fifty years ago.
…meant putting wet washcloths in the freezer for 20 minutes, taking them out frozen solid, and putting them on your head when the temperature was above 100 for days on end.
…meant having the beach to yourself.